How to Write Award-Winning Comedy

The secret of writing good comedy is, of course, to get good reviews in the newspapers normally read by "media types". Don't worry about being funny or anything, that will take care of itself and you're bound to get on the BBC anyway. So how do you do it? Well the easy answer is to parody the old-fashioned "Boys' Own" style comics such as the Magnet and Gem*. It's a comedy mine that never gets old!

*-Incidentally, these papers featured positive role-models and 'good guy' characters of every ethnicity you care to name during their run. And the 'upper class' characters were usually bullies and the poor scholarship boys, and those who came from parents that worked for their money, were honourable and decent. BUT George Orwell** didn't like them, therefore they are sinister, sexist, classist, white-power propaganda and always will be. See section 4.

**-Quotations from his books are sometimes used by the right wing against us. Therefore he has not earned the right to be named Comrade Orwell, unlike Stalin and Mao.

1: People in the past talked funny

There's no getting away from it, all that "chum" and "old boy", hilarious isn't it? Remember that whilst anything that parodies foreigners is out, ridiculing your own countrymen is perfectly acceptable and should be encouraged. All that patriotism stuff is old hat anyway isn't it?

Don't forget that the Boys' Own stories themselves used to present stereotypes of foreigners, so they are ripe for attack. The Commando comics, for instance, are full of Germans shouting "Achtung! Schpittfuer! Alerten ze Me109en". Well actually they aren't, but your audience won't have ever read an issue. The only things they will know about Commando comics will have come from an article in the Guardian written by a journalist who has never read an issue either.

 

2: Corporal punishment is homoerotic S&M

All that caning, "dodgy" isn't it? It's perfect for a bit of "Eh? Eh? Say no more" knowing humour. Of course underlying the act you need to present the idea that corporal punishment doesn't actually work. Of course you may have read some pro-patriotic propaganda that suggests that it was a lot safer to walk through a city centre in the 1920's than it is in the 2000's. However everybody was racist and homophobic back then so everything that was done in that era is now absolutely unacceptable, and deserving of ridicule.

 

3: The British Empire was entirely evil

The British Empire marched into free countries and stamped out the traditional, harmless native traditions such as tribal warfare, cannibalism, human sacrifice and wives throwing themselves onto their husband's funeral pyre. In place of this it laid down railways, roads and telephone lines, and left parliamentary democracy in it's wake when it left the nations it used to rule. Such activities are, of course, ripe for ridicule and condemnation. You are certain to be praised by self-serving anti-racist groups that aren't doing anything to combat real racism (are you mad? Real racists are alive and scary) but are perfectly able to sully the reputation of people who have been dead for decades, campaign for the banning of books and magically make enormous amounts of government funding disappear

 

4: Don't worry about originality

You might be thinking that parodies of the Boys' Own adventure yarn are getting a bit predictable and stale. I mean the Monty Python team were doing "Ripping Yarns" back in 1976, and every right-on (yes, this goes so far back people still used that phrase) alternative comedian of the 80's had to jump on the war comics as a rite of passage. But don't worry, for in the land of the Guardianite vegan types nothing ever changes. You'll see them still describing the most politically correct police force in the world, the MET, as "Institutionally racist" because it was once called such 16 years ago. Think about that, somebody who was born when that accusation was made will be taking driving lessons next year. But in the mind of the media studies shop steward once something is called "racist" it is forever, and no evidence to the contrary will be acceptable. The same applies to jokes, once a joke about Billy Bunter being into gay S&M is described as "funny" in the Guardian, it always will be.